EZ curl bar workouts can offer unique benefits for certain muscles. Find out what EZ curl bar exercises you can do for stronger back muscles.
The curved handle of the EZ curl bar can help you do certain exercises with less wrist pain.
One thing you do have to keep in mind is that EZ curl bars typically do not have the highest weight limits.
Even more intermediate lifters may not be able to do some of the exercises below because the back muscles involved are too strong for the bar.
That being said, if you are able to do them, possibly with higher repetition ranges, the movements below can help you work a variety of back muscles.
1. EZ curl bar bent-over rows
Take the following steps to do a bent-over row with an EZ curl bar:
- Load the desired number of weight plates on the EZ curl bar and stand in front of it.
- Put your feet at about shoulder width, grab the EZ curl bar with an overhanded grip, and lift up the EZ curl bar with your legs until you stand up straight. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
- Slightly fold your knees and tilt your upper body forward until it is at about a 45-degree angle with the ground. Let your arms hang down to the ground for now but hold the EZ curl bar tightly.
- Bend your elbows until your hands reach your body. The goal is to mainly make your back muscles support this movement. Keep your arms close to your body, your upper body in a straight line, and your feet in the same position during the movement.
- Lower your hands again to the position of step 3 in a controlled motion.
EZ curl bar bent-over rows will mainly work your biceps, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboid muscles.
Additionally, by doing a row like this standing up, you engage muscles like your erector spinae (lower back) and glutes and hamstrings more compared to a row on an incline bench or a seated row with the cable machine.
You can also do the EZ curl bar row with an underhanded grip. This shifts the focus of the exercise more to your lats and biceps and less to your traps and rhomboids.
The underhanded grip may also be more comfortable for your wrists.
2. EZ curl bar pullovers
This next back exercise is typically done with a dumbbell but if your only option is an EZ curl bar you can likely use this type of equipment too.
Besides that, you also preferably want a flat weight bench. Once you have these, take the following steps to do an EZ curl bar pullover:
- Lie on a weight bench with your head on the end of the bench. Hold an EZ curl bar with your hands at about shoulder width with an overhanded grip.
- Extend your arms upward until they are slightly less than stretched and point them up.
- Slowly move back your arms as far as comfortable. To engage your back muscles more instead of your lower chest bring your elbows slightly more away from your body. Your arms stay slightly less than stretched throughout the exercise.
- Move your arms back to the position in step 2 in a controlled motion.
If you feel your lower chest muscles working a lot harder than your latissimus dorsi your technique may be off. In that case, you may have to focus more on pointing your elbows outward.
The curves from the EZ curl bar could be more comfortable on your wrists than a barbell pullover.
that aside, make sure you don’t overdo it with the number of weight plates you use in the EZ curl bar pullover. You definitely don’t want to drop the bar at the top of a pullover motion.
3. EZ curl bar shrugs
Take the following steps to do a shrug:
- Place an EZ curl bar in front of you on the ground. If needed add the desired number of weight plates.
- Grab the EZ curl bar with your hands at about shoulder width with your hand palms facing downward. Stand up straight with your feet at about shoulder width and let your arms hang down for now. Keep your arms slightly less than stretched throughout the exercise.
- Raise your shoulders as far as you can in a controlled manner.
- Slowly lower your shoulders again.
The shoulder shrug does not look like the most impressive motion but this EZ curl bar exercise can be great to help you work the upper part of your trap muscles.
This part of the trapezius is responsible for this shrug movement which also tend to play a role in exercises like shoulder presses.
4. EZ curl bar Romanian deadlifts
Take the following steps to do a Romanian deadlift with an EZ curl bar:
- Set up some type of EZ curl bar rack at a height just below where your EZ curl bar is if you stand up straight with the EZ curl bar in your hands. Add the desired number of weight plates.
- Grab the EZ curl bar with a pronated grip which means with your hand palms pointing downward/backward. Unrack the EZ curl bar and take a few steps back so that you have room for the exercise. Stand up with your feet at more or less shoulder width and your knees slightly bent.
- Slightly tilt your upper body forward as far as you can without bending your back or knees or until the bar is right below knee height. The weight plates should not hit the ground.
- Slowly move back into the position of step 2.
The first thing to note about Romanian deadlifts is that the weight limit of the EZ curl bar may be too lacking. Your hamstrings and glutes which mainly have to work are relatively strong muscles.
That being said, if you are more of a resistance training beginner, you could be able to do EZ curl bar Romanian deadlifts.
In a situation like that, you want to start with light weights to get used to the technique. You don’t want to overdo it with this exercise that also works your lower back muscles a lot.
Besides that, Romanian deadlifts will also work your trapezius back muscles to some extent.
You can also consider regular EZ curl bar deadlifts. These do focus more on your quadriceps.
5. Weighted back extensions
You typically want to use a back extension machine or Roman chair at your gym for this glute, hamstring, and lower back gym exercise. Especially with the extra weight from an EZ curl bar.
Once you have the required gear, take the following steps to do a back extension with the dedicated machine:
- Put an EZ curl bar on the ground in front of the back extension machine.
- Take place in the back extension machine. Keep a straight back for now. Make sure you are locked in place safely.
- Slowly bend down as far as you can while. To really work your lower back muscles you can bend your spine. Even so, many people will prefer to keep their spine straight to work their glutes and hamstrings.
- Pick up the EZ curl bar and hold it against your chest or another comfortable upper body area.
- Move up your upper body in a controlled motion until your body is in a straight line.
- Alternate between the positions in steps 3 and 5.
You can do this EZ curl bar back exercise in different ways. To really work your lower back muscles, you would bend your spine.
On the other hand, you can also keep your spine straight to focus more on your glutes and hamstrings.
Since the glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae (lower back) muscles are relatively strong, many people will need to do back extensions with weights to see a lot of results.
You may like the wrist positions an EZ curl bar allows more than holding something like a weight plate.
6. Chest-supported rows with an EZ curl bar
For this next back exercise, you need an incline weight bench at about a 45-degree angle to the ground. You also need a rack or partner to get the EZ curl bar in position.
Once you have these, take the following steps to do a chest-supported row with an EZ curl bar:
- Set up the EZ curl bar so you can hold it in the position of the next step.
- Lie on the bench on your front, your chest should just reach the top of the bench. Let your arms hang down with the EZ curl bar in your hands. Hold the EZ curl bar with your hands at about shoulder width with an overhanded grip.
- Bend your elbows until your hands reach your body. The goal is to mainly make your back muscles support this movement. Keep your arms close to your body, your body in a straight line, and your feet in the same position during the movement.
- Lower the EZ curl bar again to the starting position in a controlled motion.
The incline bench row is very similar to the regular bent-over EZ curl bar row but using a weight bench makes a difference in a few areas.
More specifically, by supporting your chest with the incline bench, your lower back muscles have to work less.
This can be a benefit or downside depending on your situation and training goals.
Another difference is that it becomes harder to use other body parts like your legs to lift the EZ curl bar by bracing yourself against the weight bench.
You could engage your upper back muscles more because of this. In turn, this can lead to more and faster muscle gains in this area.